The etiology of type 2 diabetes is rooted in a myriad of factors and exposures at individual, community, and societal levels, many of which also affect the control of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Not only do such factors impact risk and treatment at the time of diagnosis but they also can accumulate biologically from preconception, in utero, and across the life course. These factors include inadequate nutritional quality, poor access to physical activity resources, chronic stress (e.g., adverse childhood experiences, racism, and poverty), and exposures to environmental toxins. The National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC) concluded that the diabetes epidemic cannot be treated solely as a biomedical problem but must also be treated as a societal problem that requires an all-of-government approach. The NCCC determined that it is critical to design, leverage, and coordinate federal policies and programs to foster social and environmental conditions that facilitate the prevention and treatment of diabetes. This article reviews the rationale, scientific evidence base, and content of the NCCC's population-wide recommendations that address food systems; consumption of water over sugar-sweetened beverages; food and beverage labeling; marketing and advertising; workplace, ambient, and built environments; and research. Recommendations relate to specific federal policies, programs, agencies, and departments, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others. These population-level recommendations are transformative. By recommending health-in-all-policies and an equity-based approach to governance, the NCCC Report to Congress has the potential to contribute to meaningful change across the diabetes continuum and beyond. Adopting these recommendations could significantly reduce diabetes incidence, complications, costs, and inequities. Substantial political resolve will be needed to translate recommendations into policy. Engagement by diverse members of the diabetes stakeholder community will be critical to such efforts.
© 2023 by the American Diabetes Association.